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Mali Plans To Increase The Size Of Its Army To Rein In Jihadists

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Dozens Of Malian Soldiers Killed In Suspected Jihadist Attack

Mali is planning to increase the size of its army by nearly 50% in a recruitment drive this year in fight against jihadist groups.

Prime minister Boubou Cisse said on Wednesday, the country will hire 10,000 new soldiers in the coming months to allow armed and security forces be much more effective in areas they were not. The move is aimed at uprooting jihadist groups.

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He did not say how much the increase would cost or how the arid west African country would pay. It was also not clear how it would lure people into an army whose troops are frequently killed in attacks by Islamists.

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Much of central and northern Mali is largely used by groups as a base from which to launch attacks across neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso.

At least 20 soldiers were killed in a pre-dawn attack on an army camp in the centre of the country on Sunday. France warned on Monday against possible U.S. troop cuts in west Africa, as that will have an impact on logistical support and intelligence gathering.

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Tunisian Leader Proposes Death Sentence For Murderers

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Tunisian Leader Proposes Death Sentence For Murderers

Tunisian president Kais Saied has said murderers should be sentenced to death following the rape and killing of a young woman in the north African country.

President Saied told a national security council meeting on Tuesday, “those who commit murder should be sentenced to death.

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The public outrage over the woman’s murder –a 29-year-old Rahma Lahmar, sparked calls for executions to restart. Lahmar, went missing for a few days and her mutilated body was found north of the capital, Tunis, on Friday last week after she had been raped.

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Police say they have arrested a suspect who has since confessed to the killing. Many in the country are calling for the killer to be hanged. Tunisia abolished the death penalty in 1991.

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South African Airways Suspends Operations Over Funding

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South African Airways Suspends Operations Over Funding

South Africa`s national carrier, South African Airways’ operations have been suspended with immediate effect.

SAA administrators said they were putting the struggling state-owned carrier under “care and maintenance” until funding for a restructuring plan was found.

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Some media reports say, this means the airline will not schedule any further flights after completing repatriation flights that have already been scheduled.

The airline was put in bankruptcy protection in December after heavy financial losses in the past few years. The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the situation.

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Ivory Coast Lifts Ban On Protests Ahead Of Polls

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Ivory Coast Lifts Ban On Protests Ahead Of Polls

Ivory Coast has lifted a ban on protests. The ban on public demonstrations in the country ends today, Wednesday just as the opposition plans to begin a campaign of civil disobedience against president Alassane Ouattara’s third term bid.

President Ouattara’s candidacy has caused tension in the country and led to protests. At least 10 persons have been killed since riots broke out last month.

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The opposition is demanding changes to the constitutional court, the electoral commission, and the withdrawal of Ouattara’s candidacy. President Ouattara has accused the opposition of scaring the public in order to disrupt the electoral process.

Ivory coast authorities have barred political candidates including former president Laurent Gbagbo and former prime minister Guillaume Soro from running because of previous convictions. Their supporters have condemned the government for excluding them from the presidential election and threatened to hold protests.

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International crisis group has urged the Ivorian authorities to allow former president Laurent Gbagbo and exiled ex-speaker Guillaume Soro to return to the country.

The United Nations special envoy for west Africa -Mohamed Ibn Chambas during a visit to Abidjan last week, urged peaceful elections in ivory coast as the nation prepares to head to the poll in October.

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